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If you have back pain lasting longer than 6 weeks, you should see your doctor.

If you have back pain lasting longer than 6 weeks, you should see your doctor.
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Back pain

Back pain is very common and affects people of all ages. While it generally improves in a few days, or sometimes weeks, back pain can continue for a long period.

What is back pain?

Back pain usually feels like an ache, tension or stiffness in the back.

Several things can cause it, including a sudden movement or fall, an injury, or a medical condition. The pain is usually related to the way the bones, discs, tendons, muscles and ligaments work together.

Most people experience lower back pain at some point in their life. Around 1 in 6 Australians have back pain each year. Most are of working age, and an equal number of women and men are affected.

Back problems are a common reason for pain among younger and middle-aged adults, but they can also start early in life – between the ages of 8 and 10.

If you are experiencing back pain yourself, it is important not to restrict your movement too much. Even if your back is very painful, slow and gentle movements are better than lying still in bed. If you keep your back moving, it will become more supple and flexible.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are concerned about your back pain, why not use healthdirect's online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: June 2017

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A significant loss of wellbeing and a reduced quality of life affects those experiencing persistent low back pain.

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This article tells you about acute low back pain and how it is diagnosed, including what imaging tests you may need to have.

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Managing low back pain and sciatica :: SA Health

Simple advice on managing low back pain or sciatica to assist your recovery

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This sheet has been written for people with back pain. It provides general information about back pain and what can be done to help it. It also tells you where to find further information. This sheet is not meant for people with back pain from osteoporosis.

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Multidisciplinary treatment for back pain

Is treatment involving a team of therapists from several different clinical professions helpful for people with long-term back pain?

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Back pain - myDr.com.au

Most back problems can be prevented by proper use of the spine and keeping it in good shape.

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Back pain - Better Health Channel

Back pain is common. Some people will develop back pain that is persistent (lasts more than three months). There are many things that you can do to live well with back pain.

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Therapeutic ultrasound for chronic low-back pain | Cochrane

Ultrasound is a treatment that uses vibration to deliver heat and energy to parts of the lower backincluding spinal muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. Its goal is to reduce pain and speed healing. Chronic low back pain is low-back pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks.

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Low back pain :: SA Health

Low back pain - managing pain, facts about sciatica and advice on diagnostic scans and when you should see your doctor

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Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain | Cochrane

Thirty-five RCTs covering 2861 patients were included in this systematic review. There is insufficient evidence to make any recommendations about acupuncture or dry-needling for acute low-back pain. For chronic low-back pain, results show that acupuncture is more effective for pain relief than no treatment or sham treatment, in measurements taken up to three months. The results also show that for chronic low-back pain, acupuncture is more effective for improving function than no treatment, in the short-term. Acupuncture is not more effective than other conventional and "alternative" treatments. When acupuncture is added to other conventional therapies, it relieves pain and improves function better than the conventional therapies alone. However, effects are only small. Dry-needling appears to be a useful adjunct to other therapies for chronic low-back pain.

Read more on Cochrane (Australasian Centre) website

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